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Pragmatic Aspects of Scalar ModifiersThe Semantics-Pragmatics Interface$
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Osamu Sawada

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714224

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198714224.001.0001

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Historical development of pragmatic scalar modifiers

Historical development of pragmatic scalar modifiers

(p.199) 9 Historical development of pragmatic scalar modifiers
Pragmatic Aspects of Scalar Modifiers

Osamu Sawada

Oxford University Press

Chapter 9 considers the development of pragmatic scalar modifiers from a historical point of view. The main point is that although the directionality of the semantic change of scalar modifiers can be captured under a general path of semantic change or grammaticalization (i.e. propositional $>$ (textual) $>$ expressive; Traugott 1982), the semantic shift of scalar modifiers is not lexically at random. The chapter argues that semantic change in scalar modifiers is constrained or regulated by their lexical and morphosyntactic properties. At the lexical level, this constraint means that semantic change does not occur if the source meaning does not fit with an expressive mode. At the morphosyntactic level, there is a general constraint that the elements used for expressing a particular CI meaning must form a constituent. Finally, the relationship between syntactic change and semantic change is also discussed.

Keywords:   semantic change, grammaticalization, morphosyntactic constraint, semantic matching, pragmatic scalar modifier

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